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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Hide and Q

November 23, 2012

First aired November 23, 1987. Stardate 41590.5. They’ve just dropped Troi off at a starbase, and are now en route to help a colony on Quadra Sigma to help with a medical emergency. A familiar force field appears in front of them, and Q pops onto the ship, initially as a ball of light, then as Starfleet Admiral Q. He offers them the realization of impossible dreams, then becomes excited at the thought of a game. He leaves Picard on the Bridge, and takes Riker, Worf, Tasha, Geordi and Data to another planet. Q is there as a French Marshal, explaining the Game. Tasha is sent to the Penalty Box, which happens to be the Bridge of the Enterprise, and she gets scared and starts to cry. Picard comforts him, and Q ends the Penalty. Down on the planet, Worf spies on their opponents, and sees they’re monsters. Back on the ship, Picard and Q debate philosophy in an excellent scene. One of the best scenes of the season.

Back on the planet, the creatures attack. Q reveals that Riker’s been given the power of the Q. Riker uses it to teleport the others back to the ship. Picard talks to them, then we cut to Riker still on the planet, laughing. He talks to Q, who wants Riker to join the Q Continuum. Riker refuses, and Q leaves while teleporting back the others, along with Picard and Wesley. Worf attacks the creatures, and gets stabbed. Wesley goes to check on him, and gets stabbed from behind. To much rejoicing. Riker freaks out and teleports everyone back with his Q powers, saving Worf and Wesley in the process. Riker agrees not to use the power again.

Wesley gets the point

I know you all wanted to see this.

The Enterprise reaches the colony, where a lot of people are hurt. They find a dead girl. Riker feels awful about not being able to use his powers to save her. He has a discussion with the full Bridge staff, where he’s a bit of an arrogant jerk. Q tries to push him away from them. Riker tries to give the Bridge crew gifts. He turns Wesley into a man, after saying he may knew Wesley “best of all,” even though we’ve barely seen them interact. Data refuses the opportunity to become human. Riker gives Geordi sight, and after he hits on Tasha, Geordi refuses. He gives Worf a Klingon mate, also declined. Then Wesley declines being a man. Q is taken away by the Continuum, and everything is back to normal.

As a Q episode, it’s automatically good. De Lancie and Stewart play off each other so well, and they’re a joy to watch. The interactions mix depth and humour, and are just some of the best things you can watch. The story is bland and predictable, and none of the other performances are all that great, including Frakes. But Q and Picard make this a good episode.

The episode’s not without its problems, of course. There’s a whole lot of exposition, lecturing and talking. It ends up being a bit much. The scene between Picard and Yar was pretty cheesy, and that she ends it by saying, “If you weren’t my Captain . . .” is definitely stupid. Aside from Stewart and de Lancie, no one really gives a great performance. As I said, the story itself is bland and predictable.

Still, this is probably the best episode of the first season. Which obviously isn’t saying much, but it’s a good episode overall. I’d give it a 3/5.

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